Clean Water and Sanitation

Strategic Programme

Politecnico di Milano, through the Campus Sostenibile ‘Environment’ line of action, aims to improve the management of water, supporting sustainable practices and discouraging resource wastage and plastic overuse.


Politecnico di Milano is continuously intervening on the water infrastructure of the Campuses, installing drinking water dispensers and water saving devices such as photocells on taps, aerator nozzles and dual flush toilets. In addition, Politecnico is engaged in launching specific projects, in some cases working together with external partners. The main actions are listed below: 
Water House at Bassini Campus 
AcquaPoint at Cremona Campus 
Water fountains at Leonardo Gardens 


Politecnico organises awareness-raising initiatives regarding the conscious use of water and makes suggestions in the Code of Conduct for a Sustainable Campus, a document resulting from a collaborative discussion in 2011, which has since been updated. 

Recent initiatives include:
Water bottles distribution 
What kind of water do we drink? 

Examples of teaching activities


The course aims to provide the theoretical foundations and knowledge necessary to: (i) define the treatment cycles for the production of water with characteristics compatible with those required by users (drinking water, primary water for industry), (ii) set up and carry out the procedures for the general sizing of the treatment units that make up the identified supply chain, (iii) set up and carry out the verification procedures of existing treatment chains.  

This course is delivered in the following Degree Programmes: 

  • Environmental and Land Planning Engineering (BSc) 
  • Environmental and Land Planning Engineering (MSc) 
  • Civil Engineering 


In this Studio, the students are asked to prepare a complex and innovative project through the tools of architecture and urban design, having mastered the feasibility of the project. Several sub-themes guide the course: water as fundamental layer to rethink the city; the theme of the reuse of historical heritage and eventually the reclamation of abandoned sites; the understanding of urban and landscape tissues by investigating their composition and historical stratification; the role of open space as a structuring system for the city and the territory. 

This course is delivered in the following Degree Programme: 

  • Architecture and Urban Design 


This course aims at filling the students’ educational gaps on advanced water-related technologies, with focus on the application of electrochemical and photoelectrochemical methods to pollution sensing and abatement. All the modern electrochemical technologies industrially applied for the detection and removal of pollutants from waters and soil are described, providing a comprehensive coverage of the theory and practice in this important and growing area of engineering. 

This course is delivered in the following Degree Programmes: 

  • Chemical Engineering (BSc) 
  • Chemical Engineering (MSc) 

Examples of research activities

Project Ô

Project Ô: Demonstration of Planning and Technology Tools for a Circular, Integrated and Symbiotic Use of Water intends to demonstrate approaches and technologies to drive an integrated and symbiotic use of water within a specific area, putting together the needs of different users and waste water producers, involving regulators, service providers, civil society, industry and agriculture. The project seeks to apply the pillars of integrated water management (IWM) as a model for “water planning” (akin to spatial planning) and to demonstrate low cost, modular technologies that can be easily retrofitted into any water management infrastructure at district/plant level, hence enabling even small communities and SMEs to implement virtuous practices.

Scientific Coordinator: Andrea Castelletti 


SMARTIES: Real Time Smart Irrigation Management at Multiple Stakeholders’ Levels project aims to improve farm and irrigation district water use efficiency and farm profitability developing a real-time operational irrigation management web-gis system for parsimonious and precise irrigation optimizing exact water use and relative water productivity, integrating farm analysis into irrigation district ones. 

The SMARTIES system will be designed to be used: i) in real time mode during the irrigation season to support irrigation strategy for weekly and seasonal forecast; ii) in an off-line mode, before the irrigation season, as a simulator of irrigation and crop yield strategy under seasonal forecast conditions supporting crop and irrigation decision strategy and the irrigation water policies impacts. 

Scientific Coordinator: Marco Mancini 


Bathing activity is one of the first tourist attractions of many coastal towns in the period from May to October and the guarantee of swimming in unpolluted waters plays a fundamental role in the tourist activity of the site. Due to short and intense precipitation events, e.g. summer storms, spills of water rich in suspended solids, accumulated in dry periods, can alter the water quality, specifically the physical, chemical and biological parameters, preventing a safe bathing. SWIM presents an innovative methodology based on the reflectance measurements collected by satellite is developed in order to provide a decision support system for a safe bathing in coastal waters. 

Scientific Coordinator: Marco Mancini 


Lakes are a fundamental resource for the Insubric area and the quality of their waters must be protected from increasing risks due to anthropogenic pressure and climate change. The main objective of the project is to support decision-making and the definition of management policies through an advanced information system based on data from innovative monitoring systems (automatic, diversified, low cost and high spatial and temporal resolution), using in situ, innovative and low cost instruments. SIMILE aims to implement the integration of data provided by sensors, open and free satellite data and information provided by citizens through the Citizen Science participatory approach. 

Scientific Coordinator: Maria Antonia Brovelli